Uganda To Have Second Solar Power Plant

Construction of the second solar power plant will start in six months when an investor is expected to have secured funds, allowing Uganda to expand its power supplies from cheaper and renewable sources.

Uganda is keen to boost its energy output, while lowering the cost, which officials say is vital to power businesses and drive economic growth.

Today Red Pepper run an exclusive story detailing turmoil in cabinet after the President put government officials on the spot over the cost of energy in the country.

Ugandan manufacturers regularly complain about expensive power which they say makes their products uncompetitive in the region.

For instance steel products imported from India and Japan cost a fraction of those manufactured in Uganda. This has forced companies with tenders to construct infrastructure projects to import rather than buy local.

Officials have turned to renewable sources such as solar to offer a solution. The first 10-MW solar power plant, located in the country’s northeast, was commissioned in December.

Julius Wandera, spokesman for the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA), told Reuters they had licensed Disc Tech FZE, an Egyptian firm, for a second plant.

“We expect them to reach financial close in six months and that’s when construction should begin,” he said.

The plant, to be built in eastern Uganda, near the shores of Lake Victoria, will also generate 10 MW and it will cost an estimated $17 million to build, Wandera said.

“Our policy is to push the country more towards renewable energy because the country has vast potential,” he said.